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Nursery with no toys

(26 Posts)
Coffeemorris Fri 24-Jul-15 22:57:34

I visited a nursery this afternoon to register my DD and she was allowed to play while I filled in the forms. She kept saying she wanted to leave and when I went to explore the room with her I found there were no toys. There were empty pen pots, no paper, just a couple of messy feathers and sellotape rolls. There was no paint (just an empty easel) or clay. This was at 2.30pm. There were 7 nursery kids there for the afternoon (until 5pm) and they were all sat around a computer and then they sat down for a snack. All the staff looked so bored. AIBU or should there be more to do? My DD doesn't want to go back. I turned down a place in a good nursery for this one and now I feel sick with worry.

When I went to the open day there were activities set out for the kids but it was obviously laid on especially for the open day.

minibmw2010 Fri 24-Jul-15 22:58:58

Absolutely do not join this nursery. My sons nursery is bustling with busy children doing activities even at 5.30pm when I pick up. Move on, find another.

siblingrevelryagain Fri 24-Jul-15 22:59:40

Trust your instinct-when a nursery/school has a good feel you just know.

MissMuesli Fri 24-Jul-15 23:00:47

Are they term time only? My child's nursery was all packed down on Wednesday ready for the 6 weeks off where they are having a big shuffle around for the new term. Although to be fair I would have expected someone to mention this to you and I would expect the nursery staff to 've interacting!

FishWithABicycle Fri 24-Jul-15 23:01:48

Run away and don't look back that sounds terrible.

Yes there should be a wide variety of toys with the kids free to choose between options.

Don't take your child back there.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 24-Jul-15 23:02:55

omg. I struggled to not trip over dinosaurs or trains when I picked dd up from pre school/nursery.

I usually found her covered in paint or elbow deep in sand

do not join this nursery

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 24-Jul-15 23:05:32

Your dd does not want to go back. That is the decision made op. I don't blame her for not wanting to be there. I wouldn't want to be there and that's me saying that as an adult.
She is going to be spending her time there so she has got to be happy settled and content there otherWise you're not going to be happy settled and content at work.
Not surprised the staff looked bored. I'm bored just thinking about working there

FlyingPirate Fri 24-Jul-15 23:09:39

Run and never look back. As a PP said, when a nursery has a good, fun atmosphere you can just feel it. If you can't feel it, your DD won't be happy there.

When I took DS to see his preschool the kids were all stuck into to various messy activities and he had a massive tantrum when I tried to drag him away I struggled to get him to leave.

Saz12 Fri 24-Jul-15 23:15:42

Do they have a 30-minute "downtime" after lunch - in place of a nap, they encourage the kids to relax for a bit?

If it's just how things are, then run away quick and find one of the many really nice nurseries instead.

Coffeemorris Fri 24-Jul-15 23:23:33

Thanks so much, I really appreciate these posts. I thought I was expecting too much. Or just going a bit mad!
I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't think I could ask for crayons or whatever if we were only visiting (although we were invited to stay for the whole afternoon!). I wish I had got an explanation now. I can't think what the reason could be. The nursery has more kids during term time for sure, but they are open all year round and the parents of the poor kids who were there this afternoon pay for the childcare.

Coffeemorris Fri 24-Jul-15 23:28:37

Maybe they were just having down time. But why would they empty the shelves around the room? I thought they'd tidy up by putting things back on the shelves. To be honest the whole place felt like it needed more money.

BackforGood Fri 24-Jul-15 23:33:51

Move on. You do not want your dd to have to go to this nursery.

ColdTeaAgain Fri 24-Jul-15 23:36:58

It sounds awful, how sad for the children that are stuck there all day.
I suspect something is going very wrong with finances/management and I wouldn't be surprised if all the staff are completely fed up and looking to go elsewhere.

Leggytadpole Fri 24-Jul-15 23:40:28

Trust your gut. I turned down a few childminders/nurseries until I was happy. Seriously, would you really want to leave her here with your doubts? I had to look at a few before I found one I was really happy with.

Saz12 Fri 24-Jul-15 23:40:38

Nah - if the shelves are empty, then it does sugges a permanent thing. I wasn't sure if it was just the wee tables that had been cleared of distractions, together with a lot of tdying up.

ShadowFire Fri 24-Jul-15 23:43:02

There are toys all over the place at my DCs nursery.

Different parts of rooms have different themes i.e. play kitchen in one corner, books and cushions in another, wooden trains in another, messy play in another. Shelving with boxes of age appropriate toys like blocks / animals / jigsaw / baby toys / art materials in each room.

Yes, they have down time where the children are encouraged to relax, but if you go into nursery at this time, toys etc are still clearly visible on shelves / in the themed areas. I don't think I've ever seen a child looking bored when I've been into the nursery. They have lots more kids in term time, but in the holidays they still have all the same toys and art materials there for the kids to play with.

The set-up at this nursery sounds seriously worrying, not at all stimulating for children, and not one I'd want to have my children in.

PurpleSwirl Fri 24-Jul-15 23:48:01

You what? If it's as you describe, that sounds rubbish for a nursery in terms of things to do. Mine went to one when toddlers, and there was plenty of things to do. They had a big outdoor play area where they could ride bikes, play in the sand and water etc and generally run about.
They also had 'sensory baskets' with all kinds of fluffy things to pick up of different textures. (Ribbons, sponges, feathers etc)
Not to mention book cases full of age appropriate books.
Loads of other stuff as well I've forgotten as it's about 5 years since I was last there! smile

StaceyAndTracey Fri 24-Jul-15 23:52:08

My childrens nursery is exactly like shadowfire describes

Whatever time of day I was there to collect them ( except lunchtime ) there were lots of kids doing stuff - Lego in one area, others painting or doing crafts , having a snack , playing on trikes outside

As well as my own child rushing over to me, other kids would come up and say " look at my picture " or " I've got a new t shirt " or " this is my dinosaur " etc . They always looked happy and busy

What you describe is very far from normal

Mumbehavingbadly Sat 25-Jul-15 06:58:34

Your instinct is probably right. Find another nursery.
It's a while back but we found a place for dd1 at a nursery that had a homely feel with a mix of mature and younger staff. She settled ok but about four months in she started to say she didn't want to go and at the same time things became a little sparse in the ways you describe although it had happened so gradually it took until then to notice.
The owners had bought another nursery across town but didn't have the money to equip both so they'd taken most of the best playthings / experienced staff to the new establishment to lure in new parents.
We were unhappy and started to look for a new nursery (we were both working in new jobs and still under our 6months probation so you can imagine the stress this added). But I went to collect her early one day - walked in to hear one of the new junior nursery assistant recruits shouting aggressively at DD. I managed to stay calm enough to ask about DDs day including what's she'd had for lunch - mash potato with tomato soup over it. They couldn't afford to feed them properly either.
We didn't want DD to suffer anymore trauma so the next day we took her back with cake and sweets to say goodbye to her friends/picked up her wellies etc. and told the nursery we were leaving with immediate effect - no notice- we just walked out.
They wrote and called saying they were going to sue us for 3 months nursery fees to cover notice. My response: please do. I look forward to telling a court why I had to remove my child and I'm sure the press would be interested.
We never heard from them again.

Don't send your dd there.

DirtyMugPolice Sat 25-Jul-15 07:21:35

What they all said - don't do it. Those poor children.

PumpkinPie2013 Sat 25-Jul-15 07:23:10

Not normal at all - trust your instincts!

My son's nursery is full of different toys/art materials/story books. Even if you go at a mealtime when things have been tidied up, they are still visible on the shelves.

The staff are always very friendly with parents and no matter what time I go they are interacting with the children.

Coffeemorris Sun 26-Jul-15 23:40:26

Thank you so much everyone. You've helped me decide not to go back to that nursery. where would I be without mumsnet!

The5DayChicken Mon 27-Jul-15 00:55:16

I did an unplanned drop in to look at a nursery the other day specifically because I'm worried about nurseries putting on a show. DD got to play with the children and the toys while I was shown around. She loved it. Glad I did now!

Definitely don't place your child there. Any chance at all you can go back to the nursery you rejected and grovel?? Alternatively, your local council should have a list of registered child minders. They follow the EYFS, just like nurseries but they obviously work on a smaller scale.

The5DayChicken Mon 27-Jul-15 00:56:47

I'd also consider reporting this nursery to OFSTED

textfan Mon 27-Jul-15 04:22:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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